1.1. 2010

An “astonishing” debut novel has won the Booktrust teenage prize, beating past winners and established names in children’s fiction.

Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes is an extraordinary story of two orphaned siblings, the precocious, fascinating and infuriating 10-year-old Rat and her older brother Bob, who take a road trip from Canada to New York to look for their uncle on the strength of knowing his name and that he is a “drug dealer”. The fascination of their adventure is almost matched by the author’s intriguing back story, involving teenage years spent in a home for wayward boys in Liverpool and a nomadic life in Canada and America on which he drew for some of his young protagonists’ thrills and spills.